How to be a responsible pet owner


Would you consider yourself a responsible pet owner?  February is National Responsible Pet Owner Month, something we hope all pet owners are committed to being before taking on a pet.  But sometimes even the most well-meaning pet owner needs to be reminded of the rules and guidelines to follow when it comes to owning a pet.

Now we’re not talking the basics…we all know to feed our pet and always provide fresh water.  Let’s look more at the long-term pet parenting tricks.

Taking your pet to the vet
Most vets want to see your pet once a year for a regular exam.  This annual check-up allows the vet to examine your pet for changes in their body including lumps, listening to the heart and lungs, and to provide your pet with their annual vaccines.  As your pet ages, the vet may recommend more routine visits, depending on your pet’s overall health.

Keeping your dog on a leash
Several pet parents will tell you “my dog will stay with me, we don’t need the leash”, but your concern may need to be focused on the other dogs.  By having your dog on the leash, you’ll have some leverage in pulling your dog away from other dogs who are not as well behaved.

Spaying and neutering your pet
Studies have shown that pets who are spayed or neutered live healthier, longer lives.  Plus spayed and neutered pets are less likely to develop behavior problems.

Finding the right balance of social time and solitude
You definitely want to socialize your pets, have them be a part of the family.  After all that is why most of us have pets.  Work with your pet to not jump on guests or bark at friendly visitors.  On the other hand, know your pet’s limits when it comes to visitors or new additions to the family.  Provide your pet with a safe place to relax away from the chaos or noise of guests and visitors.

Having pet insurance for peace of mind
Pet insurance is a peace-of-mind purchase allowing pet parents to plan for veterinary expenses.  You never know when your pet will become sick, eat something they shouldn’t have or be involved in some type of accident.  By having pet insurance ahead of time, you know that the decisions you make about your pet’s care can be based on your pet’s needs and not the unexpected expense.

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